Can an old hard drive cause a computer to freeze?

Posted on 2011-10-10
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
My computer is fairly new except for the hard drives. I recently replaced the motherboard, cpu, and power supply, but not the hard drives. All of the hard drives in my computer are fairly old and some I even bought used so I think they might be about to fail.

Whenever I walk away from my computer and come back after 10 or 20 minutes the computer freezes several seconds after the monitor turns on. I have enough time to move my mouse around a little bit before it becomes completely unresponsive.

I should mention that I set my computer so that nothing goes into standby in the Windows settings including the hard drives.
Question by:Eindoofus
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    Could be faulty RAM or PSU. Check your ram with memtestx86 or goldmemory. Also see the electrical current values provided by power supply.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    yeah, it sounds like the RAM
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    You could always check through the system error logs for any ntfs or controller errors. If the drives are failing you'll generally see a bunch of errors in the logs about it.
    LVL 47

    Assisted Solution

    This could be anything.  I can't see why it should be the hard disks.

    But test your memory as suggested and then the hard disks.

    Get the UBCD

    Download links are the icons at the top of the page above Overview.  Browse the page and see what utils are there for you.  Check the memory and hard disk utils especially.

    Make the CD and boot from it.  Run the memory tester first - memtest -  and let it do two to three passes through your memory.  Memory could be the problem so get that test done first.

    Then test the hard disks with the correct manufacturer's util for your hard disk.  Do the long test.  That will most likely tell you if one of your disks is corrupt.  Your problems could possibly be a failing hard disk as well so it won't hurt to do that.
    LVL 22

    Accepted Solution

    If there are concerns about the reliability of the hard drives in a machine, one possibility is to use PassMark's Disk Checkup freeware.  It reads the drive's SMART reliability information and presents it in a human-understandable format, and flags drive attributes that indicate failures have occurred or failures may be impending.

    If the drives show clean, then other possibilities can be investigated with more confidence.
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    check also if the disks oprate in DMA - not PIO mode :      
    also - can you post the disk models to know what we are talking about?  old disk does not say much

    Author Closing Comment

    It turned out to be the hard drive. I couldn't get the hard drive check utilities working on ultimatebootcd, but PassMark's Disk Checkup worked fine. My 'D' drive was having issues and after I disconnected everything runs fine.

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